Monday, 29 December 2014

New Year's TV Picks: 29 December 2014 – 4 January 2015 (Big Fat Anniversary Quiz, Charlie Brooker's 2014 Wipe, Esio Trot, Mapp & Lucia, The Musketeers)

Monday, 29 December 2014

Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...

Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 2014 (BBC4, 8pm) Annual run of science lectures from the Royal Institution, where electrical engineer Professor Danielle George demonstrates how to turn ordinary household gadgets into amazing contraptions. (1/3)
Snow Wolf Family & Me (BBC2, 9pm) Wildlife special looking at a pack of wolves in northern Canada. Presented by Gordon Buchanan. Concludes tomorrow. (1/2)
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4, 9pm) Christmas special of the hybrid comedy panel/gameshow. Hosted by Jimmy Carr with captains Sean Lock & Jon Richardson. Guests are Kathy Burke, David Baddiel & Alex Horne.
Christmas Epic Fails (ITV, 9pm) Festive look back on all the terrible, cheesy, cringeworthy seasonal events. Hosted by Angus Deayton.
Al Murray's Great British Spy Movies (BBC4, 9pm) Documentary series focusing on British spy movies from WWII and beyond. Hosted by Al Murray.
Mapp & Lucia (BBC1, 9.05pm) New series where a small-town snob finds unwelcome competition from a woman she leases her summer home to. Starring Miranda Richardson, Anna Chancellor, Steve Pemberton & Felicity Montagu. Continues tomorrow. (1/3)
Darcey Bussell's Looking for Audrey (BBC1, 10.30pm) Profile of the Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn.

Come Dine with Me (Channel 4, 7.05pm) Christmas special of the culinary reality gameshow. Contestants are Helen Flanagan, Mark Dolan, Kirsten O'Brien & Shaun Ryder.
Phil Spencer: Secret Agent (Channel 4, 8pm) Series 8 of the property show. (1/6)
Charlie Brooker's 2014 Wipe (BBC2, 10pm) Sardonic and satirical retrospective on the previous 12 months. Hosted by Charlie Brooker.

Top of the Pops New Year's Eve (BBC1, 4.15pm) NYE special looking at the biggest stars of 2014 and the final UK number one. Hosted by Fearne Cotton & Reggie Yates.
Tigers About the House: What Happened Next (BBC2, 7pm) Follow-up to the documentary about a zookeeper hand-rearing Sumatran tiger cubs. Concludes tomorrow. (1/2)
Rita & Me (ITV, 8pm) Celebration of Coronation Street actress Barbara Knox, who has played the part of Rita for 50-years.
A Funny Old Year (ITV, 9pm) Comedy review of the year. Hosted by Jason Manford.
Alan Carr's New Year Spectacular (Channel 4, 9pm) Light entertainment special counting down to midnight. Guests are Jonathan Ross, Alesha Dixon, Mark Wright, James Corden, Seann Walsh, Tulisa, Professor Green, Vicki Michelle, Jimmy Bullard & Jake Quickenden.
Britain's Favourite Sitcom (Channel 5, 9pm) Countdown of the UK's 50 favourite sitcoms. Hosted by Mel Giedroyc.
The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, 10.15pm) NYE edition of the chat show. Guests are Liam Neeson, Eddie Redmayne, Anna Kendrick, Bradley Wiggins & Conchita Wurst.
Queen + Adam Lambert Rock Big Ben Live (BBC1, 11.15pm) Live music to help ring in 2015. Continues at 12:10am.
Jool's Annual Hootenanny (BBC2, 11.20pm) Music special to usher in New Year. Guests are Ronnie Spector, Ed Sheeran, Boz Scaggs, Paulo Nutini, Ellie Goulding, William Bell, Paloma Faith, Joss Stone, and more.

Roald Dahl's Esio Trot (BBC1, 6.30pm) Adaptation of the children's book about a retired bachelor who secretly loves his neighbour. Starring Judi Dench, Dustin Hoffman, James Corden, Richard Cordery, Pixie Davies & Lisa Hammond.
David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies (Sky1, 9pm) Wildlife special examining flight in birds. (1/3)

Show Me Your Garden (Sky1, 8pm) New series where gardeners judge each other's gardens. (1/6)
Jimmy and Jamie's Friday Night Beast (Channel 4, 8pm) Series 2 of the food show where Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty run a pop-up café on Southend Pier. (1/6)
Room 101 (BBC1, 8.30pm) Series 4 of the panel show. Hosted by Frank Skinner. Guests are Len Goodman, Ronni Ancona & Tim Vine. (1/8)
The Musketeers (BBC1, 9pm) Series 2 of the swashbuckling adventure drama. Starring Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles, Alexandra Dowling, Ryan Gage & Tamla Kari. (1/10)
The Big Allotment Challenge (BBC2, 9pm) Series 2 of the contest to find the best gardeners from a group of nine. Hosted by Fern Britton. (1/6)
Benidorm (ITV, 9pm) Series 7 of the comedy-drama about a group of ex-pats living in a Spanish seaside resort. (1/7)
Top of the Pops: The Story of 1980 (BBC4, 9pm) Documentary on the big charts of 1980.
The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz (Channel 4, 9pm) Comedy quiz looking at 2014. Hosted by Jimmy Carr. Guests are Russell Brand, Noel Fielding, Jonathan Ross, Jack Whitehall, Warwick Davis & Claudia Winkleman.
Coldplay in Concert 2014 (BBC4, 11pm) Music recorded live from the BBC Radio Theatre.
The Last Leg of the Year (Channel 4, 11.05pm) New Year edition of the show. Richard Ayoade guests.

Frank Sinatra: Our Way (BBC1, 7pm) Music special where seven acts from across the UK perfrom classic Frank Sinatra classics. Hosted by Alexandra Armstrong & Rochelle Humes. Judges are Rufus Hound, Mica Paris & Dave Stewart.
Do We Really Need the Moon? (BBC4, 8pm) Science documentary about the relationship between the Earth and its only natural satellite.
Take Me Out (ITV, 8.30pm) Series 7 of the raucous dating gameshow. Hosted by Paddy McGuinness. (1/10)
Take Me Out: The Gossip (ITV2, 9.30pm) Series 4 of the companion show. Hosted by Mark Wright & Laura Jackson. (1/10)

Diversity Live (ITV, 7pm) Entertainment special with the street dancing crew.
Kate Humble: Into the Volcano (BBC2, 8pm) Science special as a group go on an expedition to the Vanuatu archipelago. (1/2)
Foyle's War (ITV, 8pm) Series 9 of the 1940s crime drama. (1/3)
Reinventing the Royals (BBC2, 9pm) Documentary telling the story of the relationship between the monarchy and the media. (1/2)
Walking the Nile (Channel 4, 9pm) New series where explorer Levison Wood treks the length of the river Nile. (1/4)
The Celebrity Apprentice USA (BBC1, 11.50pm) Series 11 of the reality business contest. Celebrity contestants are Meat Loaf, Dionne Warwick, David Cassidy, John Rich, Marlee Matlin, La Toya Jackson, Gary Busey, Jose Canseco, Star Jones, Richard Hatch, NeNe Leakes, Lisa Rinna, Niki Taylor & Lil Jon. (1/12)

For a look at what the rest of the year's going to bring,